Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

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gavesako
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:02 am

A suggestion how to deal with the Dhammajayo case, and why monastic institutions have so far delayed any action:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... a-shambles

:broke:
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R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:18 am

Thank you coverage friends, what do you think
Is the King of Thailand very Buddhist?
I for one think the monks who engage in or urge others to "violently protecting Dhamma against Muslims" should be disrobed asap if they dont quit being militant.

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gavesako
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:32 am

Traditionally, the king of Thailand is the protector of all religions that should be allowed to co-exist peacefully. This used to be the case until fairly recently. What he also does is appointing the Sangharaja as the head of the monastic order, thus providing guidance for all the monks in the country as to what is proper and what isn't. It seems that now there will be more decisive action taken by the Sangha authorities against monks who refuse to follow the directives.
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gavesako
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:58 am

The missing monk
Thailand’s junta feuds with an influential Buddhist sect
A dragnet at the order’s headquarters fails to snare a fugitive abbot
Founded in the 1970s, the Dhammakaya movement claims about 3m followers around the world. It is by far the most influential temple in Thailand. It bears a loose resemblance to the evangelical mega-churches that increasingly beguile the world’s Christians. Dhammakaya’s mostly middle-class adherents complain that older Buddhist temples have grown complacent and materialistic. They insist, rather grandly, that the Bangkok compound, with its vast stadium, is meant to become a kind of Buddhist Vatican.
But Dhammakaya has fierce opponents both within the Buddhist establishment and outside it. Critics denounce it as a cult that peddles wacky theology, and warn that it misleads wealthy urbanites into thinking that they can purchase religious merit.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/2171 ... unta-feuds


While the government definitely should get to the bottom of the money laundering and embezzlement charges against the former abbot, it has to face up to the fact that the existence of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and its massive influence, no matter how problematic, is evidence that the days of monolithic belief and culture are gone.

http://m.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinio ... 4-extremes


Then Dhammakaya emerged. It was designed to appeal to the modern urban educated middle class. The temple grounds were clean. The leaders were well educated, with many trained as doctors and engineers.
They created an order through modern management methods. The monks maintain strict discipline and the appearance of serenity and calmness. They use technology to communicate, with their own satellite television channel and social media network. Such slick PR and marketing techniques are in tune with urban middle class tastes and desires.
Over the years, the temple seemed to emphasise more on glamorous events to draw in more followers. The elaborate and well-choreographed proceedings within the temple and outside appeared at times, unnatural. The unconventional temple structure in the shape of a UFO wowed followers. But all in all, they provided an alternative rectitude.

http://m.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinio ... be-assured
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Jojola
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by Jojola » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:08 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Thai police have entered a Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Bangkok in a bid to arrest a monk wanted in connection with alleged money laundering.
Officers began raiding the site on Thursday after previous attempts were thwarted when thousands of the monk's devotees turned up in his defence.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38989424
LIVE UPDATES FROM WAT DHAMMAKHAYA RAID
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/inte ... haya-raid/
What a mixed bag of feelings this arises, even within a single individual. Myself for example; on one hand, judgement/disapproval for presumed malpractice (of dhamma), pity for presuming it's only due to wrong view & dukkha on the other, and doubt or uncertainty inbetween.
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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gavesako
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:07 am

Making Thai Buddhism relevant again

So the Dhammakaya Temple is a cult. So its leader reportedly claims to be a doomsday saviour who takes rich donors on a tour to heaven to see the Buddha. So it teaches its followers to buy premium spaces in heaven by donating to the temple. So its doctrine on the permanence of self is against Buddhism. So what?
The problem of Dhammakaya is not so much what it teaches. Very few Buddhist temples in Thailand do not cash in on superstition. But its gigantic size, extensive reach and its grand ambition to take over the whole clergy has engendered widespread public concern. Its biggest problem -- a mistake to be precise -- is taking the wrong side of the political divide.

http://m.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinio ... vant-again


Phra Dhammachayo might claim to have worked all sorts of miracles, but he cannot credibly claim detachment in the true Buddhist sense.
In other words, he has a lot to prove. It doesn’t matter whether, as claimed, he can see how the deceased (including Steve Jobs) are doing in other worlds. Nor does it matter whether he was “invited” to descend from heaven to make Buddhism greater, or is able to travel across the cosmos in the blink of an eye.
What does matter is that men of genuine spirituality don’t run away; they face the fire.
Neither do true religious leaders use politics as an excuse to hide behind. In fact, they must stay away from politics at all costs.
Lord Buddha founded and fostered Buddhism at a time when Northern India knew nothing of democracy and was ruled by absolute monarchies. Most importantly, perhaps, credible religious leaders don’t portray themselves as victims, are forgiving and encourage their followers to do the same.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/op ... t/30307533


Bringing Dhammakaya back to the fold a key task of new Buddhism Office chief

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30307484
Bhikkhu Gavesako
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Mr Man
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by Mr Man » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:58 am

A report from Al Jazeera, which was blocked in Thailand.

https://youtu.be/CTBnotbczvA

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robertk
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by robertk » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:14 pm

Never thpught I would say it but I have come to admire wat Dhammakya.
They are the only large group that has had the courage to make a determined stand against a ruthless dictatorship.

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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by Buddha Vacana » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:46 pm

I have a friend who is a devotee of wat Dhammakaya

Another friend on facebook asked me to unfriend her and told me that if I didn't, he would have to unfriend me because he doesn't want to have anything to do with such people, he says they are brainwashed by the temple and that he could even get into trouble with the government for just having friends in common with Dhammakaya's devotees.

It seems to me that, as it is too often the case, both sides are wrong in their respective ways.

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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by chownah » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:55 am

robertk wrote:Never thpught I would say it but I have come to admire wat Dhammakya.
They are the only large group that has had the courage to make a determined stand against a ruthless dictatorship.
Do you see this as a triumph for democratic principles?....or what. Which is better; a ruthless dictatorship which returns public lands to the public or a wat which appropriates public land for its own use?
I'm just asking.
chownah

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gavesako
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:08 pm

For many years Dhammakaya has been active in international Buddhist organizations to gain a positive image and infiltrated them with their own representatives to promote their goals. One of them is the World Fellowship of Buddhists which is an old organization founded in 1950. After the Dhammakaya representative was removed from its sub-committee called the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, he set up a rival organization with the same name and logo and carried on with a parallel meeting of "Global Buddhist Leaders from 40 Countries" with the aim of showing their support for the Dhammakaya case:

"WFBY" meeting in Seoul not recognized by the World Fellowship of Buddhists
The Buddhist Channel, March 3, 2017
Bangkok, Thailand -- The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has issued a statement which categorily rejects a meeting held by a rival "WFBY" in Seoul, South Korea some time in February, 2017.
The WFBY also declared its non involvement in activities carried out and publicised by the rival "WFBY" such as the application of (WFBY) name, usage of the WFBY logo, reference of persons or group as members of a specific regional centre of the WFBY to perform or act in the name of the WFBY, including the granting of awards and titles, or the fabrication of website and Facebook page. The WFBY states that it has no involvement in such actions.
https://www.facebook.com/buddhistyouth/ ... =3&theater

Rival "WFBY's" leader
On record, Dr Pornchai's removal as President of the (rightful) WFBY was not only due to his association with Dhammakaya. In June 2015, in his third term as President of the WFBY, he signed an agreement with the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, also known as "Ma Ba Tha" to provide equipment and expertise for Myanmar's first Buddhist radio station.
This initiative was of great concern to mainstream Buddhists as Ma Ba Tha is seen as a nationalist movement whose chief concern is to conduct divisive and destructive attacks on Myanmar's Muslims.

http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id= ... Lrvk9-YGk0

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https://hilight.kapook.com/view/149954
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:51 pm

HM KING STRIPS DHAMMACHAYO OF MONK TITLE
The spiritual leader of the influential Dhammakaya sect was stripped of his royally bestowed ecclesiastic title Sunday night on instruction of His Majesty the King.
The abrupt demotion of Phra Dhammachayo, who until Sunday night held the royal rank of Phra Thepyanmahmuni, was announced on the website of the Royal Gazette, citing his refusal to cooperate with authorities on his money laundering charges.
The Royal Gazette’s statement, which was countersigned by junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha, said Dhammachayo faced a number of criminal charges, including money laundering and conspiracy to launder money. It said that his refusal to turn himself in made him unfit to hold the ecclesiastic rank of Thep – one of the most important royal distinctions of Thai Buddhism, which was awarded to him in 2011.
“Phra Thepyanmahmuni has refused to surrender per his warrant and fled the aforementioned charges, therefore he does not deserve to remain in the rank,” the statement said. “His Majesty hereby issues a royal command stripping Phra Thepyanmahmuni from the rank.”
The order meant that Dhammachayo is now an ordinary monk in the hierarchy of Thai Buddhism.
His demotion came eight months after authorities first filed charge against the 72-year-old monk. Dhammachayo has not been seen in public since, and security forces have been besieging his massive temple for weeks.

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/ ... yal-title/
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:59 am

Just north of the sprawling Wat Dhammakaya complex is an unfinished hospital called Boonraksa. Soldiers tried to search it weeks ago, but were pushed back by a crowd of monks and the faithful.
Now it’s being fortified, with moats dug and obstacles set up. A large group of worshipers has been gathering in the area, with some pitching tents, which the authorities interpret as indicating intent to stay.

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/ ... -hospital/


Council waits for official notice after king strips him of rank on Saturday.

THE secretariat of the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC) has dodged calls for it to defrock Phra Dhammachayo, despite him having been stripped of his monastic rank.
SSC secretary-general Boonchert Kittitharangkoon refused to comment yesterday on whether the council should disrobe the controversial monk. He said the top Sangha body would enforce the order to strip Phra Dhammchayo of his monastic rank only after it received an official notice.
“We are still waiting for the official notice to arrive,” Boonchert said.
On Sunday, the Royal Gazette announced that HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn had stripped Phra Dhammachayo of his elevated monastic rank effective as of Saturday.
The King made the move after the Office of the Prime Minister submitted a report that Phra Dhammachayo had refused to turn himself in to face charges of money laundering and accepting stolen items.
The office asked that Phra Dhammachayo be dismissed from the high monastic rank of Phra Thepyanna Mahamuni.
Boonchert said yesterday his office would demand that Phra Dhammachayo give up the monastic fan associated with the ranking after an official notice arrives from the National Buddhism Office (NBO). “We will write to Phra Dhammachayo, the monastic committee with the supervisory power over him, Dhammakaya Temple and also the NBO Pathum Thani branch to inform them of the defrocking and to take the monastic fan back,” he said.
For the past few weeks, the huge Pathum Thani-based monastery has been a “controlled area” designated by Article 44 of the interim charter as authorities stepped up efforts to arrest Phra Dhammachayo, now its honorary abbot.
Paiboon Nititawan, who previously chaired the National Reform Council panel on Buddhism reform, yesterday urged the Sangha Supreme Council to defrock Phra Dhammachayo. “Defrocking will immediately resolve the tense situation at the Dhammakaya Temple,” he said. “People who have rallied round the temple to shield Phra Dhammachayo will then have no excuse to stand up for him. They won’t be able to say they rally to protect a monk or Buddhism when Phra Dhammchayo is defrocked.”

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30308135


Scholars urge Buddhism body to defrock ex-abbot

Buddhist scholars are calling on the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) to initiate a process to have Phra Dhammajayo defrocked after the fugitive monk was stripped of his monastic title.
According to a Royal Gazette article published on March 5, His Majesty the King has agreed to the government's request to demote Phra Dhammajayo for evading charges filed against him.

http://m.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1 ... k-ex-abbot
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by gavesako » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:10 pm

Cabinet to seek quick reforms of Buddhism

USING THE Dhammakaya Temple case as an example, the Cabinet will soon propose that the Supreme Sangha Council and the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) speed up reforms in Buddhism, Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvard-hana revealed yesterday.
The council has already assigned three senior monks to join a reform panel.
Suwaphan also said the decision whether to disrobe the fugitive former abbot Phra Dhammachayo was at the discretion of ecclesiastical administrators.
Meanwhile, Dhammakaya communications officer, Phra Maha Nopporn Punyachayo, told a press conference yesterday that “it’s time to cancel the reckless laws that destroy Buddhism and kill monks”. He urged authorities not to have monks disrobed if the cases against them were not yet finalised.
He said the prosecution of monks should be done as an inquiry where the judge is authorised to find more facts and evidence besides those presented by the prosecutor and the defendant.
A Sangha Court should be established to handle such cases based on both the Phra Dhamma Vinaya discipline and layman laws. Such an inquiry, with the participation of monks, should be done at a temple to preserve the monks’ status, he said.
Buddhist organisations from across the world should be invited to observe a major case like Phra Dhammachayo’s, Phra Maha Nopporn suggested.
Phra Channarong Uttamo, of the temple, said monk ordination was a rebirth into Buddhism and the disrobing was the killing of a monk. He said Thai laws were discriminatory and unfair towards monks because they would be defrocked if they were suspects in a criminal case, even if the case had not been finalised.
Suwaphan said he would not rush the Department of Special Investigation (DSI)’s search of the temple. He said the monks and disciples seemed to have been incited to assume the officers would destroy the temple and seize assets, which was untrue. He said those carrying out incitement activities should stop.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam said the NOB has already filed a complaint for senior monks to proceed with disciplinary action against Dhammachayo.
He said the Sangha Supreme Council’s meeting tomorrow, which the NOB chief would attend in his capacity as the council secretary, might table the Dhammakaya case.
While the temple has been declared a special controlled area and Phra Dhammachayo’s monastic rank has been removed, the temple’s resistance continued, so the government needed to find more solutions, he added.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30308387


The modern monk and the lure of money
If the Sangha Supreme Council can’t divert monks from material greed, civil law will have to be imposed


Thai Buddhist monks are not allowed to accumulate personal wealth for the straightforward reason that it undermines the path to nirvana as strictly identified in Theravada tradition. However, far too many monks nowadays seem to regard the rule as a mere suggestion. In a survey conducted by Chulalongkorn University’s Centre for Buddhism Studies, most monks said they amassed money and some even used credit and debit cards.

The practice of accumulating wealth even after ordination has been blamed for several problems involving monks at the moment. These include the controversy surrounding Phra Dhammachayo, former abbot of the Dhammakaya Temple, who is being hunted on suspicion of laundering massive amounts of money and accepting stolen assets.
The Sangha Act – the law governing the Thai monastic community – has nothing to say about physical assets belonging to monks. That matter is covered in the Civil Code, certain clauses of which are up for amendment. Under Article 1622, monks can be beneficiaries of a will. Article 1623 says a monk’s temple can inherit his assets unless he specifically directs otherwise. Those who propose changing these articles argue that barring monks from holding any assets would ensure they spend all of their time observing religious practices, and as such would render better service as monks.
Former judge Jaran Pakdithanakul, a member of the National Legislative Assembly working group considering the amendments, says these clauses – despite being in place for more than eight decades – “clearly” contravene the intention of the Vinaya regulatory framework that guides the monastic community. He regards money as an unnecessary burden for monks, distracting them as they tend to their finances.
Lay people often give monks money as they make their morning alms rounds and for the prayers offered at funerals. It is no longer common for monks to refuse donations in the form of currency, as was once the case. Times have changed.
It might be all right for monks to possess small sums of money to meet their daily needs, primarily food, medicine, clothing and shelter – except that the temples already provide those daily needs, through the support of their lay patrons and neighbouring communities. Trusted temple affairs managers, who are members of the laity, typically handle the mundane business of running the temples and handling their assets.
One major problem now is that so many monks seek to amass larger amounts of money so they can buy products and services that have nothing to do with their ambition of attaining enlightenment or their ministrations to the community. We’ve all seen monks with smartphones and other gadgets – the stuff of worldly desires rather than spiritual goals. There is little credence to the argument that Internet access assists them in their religious studies or in sharing the Buddha’s wisdom. These things can be done, have always been done, without high technology.
The far greater problem, of course, involves senior monks accumulating significant personal wealth. Temple abbots have on several occasions been found after their deaths to own sizeable bank accounts. By law, substantial assets can only belong to the temple itself, but that often hasn’t been the case. We have seen famous preachers and influential abbots – those who tend to draw large amounts of cash in donations – transfer considerable wealth to family members or close associates before dying.
Unfortunately there is no answer to these problems other than barring monks of any rank from possessing much more than pocket money. It is the monk’s austere lot to help the layman, to shield him from suffering by demonstrating noble practice. If the monk strays from austerity, austerity will have to be imposed by law.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/op ... l/30308372

:broke:


Dhammakaya: What does a bank failure look like?
26 years to repay depositors at Klong Chan Credit Union, brought down by embezzled religious donations to Dhammakaya Temple.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/adv ... look-like-


Regime, SSC mull 'defrocking court'

The government and the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC) may consider setting up a "clergy court" to rule whether the former abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya will be defrocked.
The idea of the clergy court was earlier floated by Phra Tham Kittimethee, assistant abbot of Wat Rachathiwat in Bangkok.
The monk called on the government and the SSC, the monastic governing body, to establish the court in order to rule whether Phra Dhammajayo had violated the Buddhist disciplinary code of conduct and decide whether he must be defrocked.
The proposition was also backed by Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, who said it was the proper way to solve the problem.
Pol Lt Col Pongporn Pramsaneh, the newly appointed director of the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), said secular judicial procedures would take some time while a clergy investigation would depend on the SSC.
However, he said it was difficult to proceed with the case as authorities have been unable to arrest Phra Dhammajayo yet.
According to the 21st issue of the SSC's regulations, monks can be defrocked under two conditions.
First, a district monk dean can rule that a monk must be defrocked if they have violated the disciplinary code of conduct. Secondly, monks who are not attached to any temple can be defrocked.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the NOB has already submitted Phra Dhammajayo's case to the SSC after the former abbot was stripped of his monastic title earlier.
According to a Royal Gazette article published on Sunday, His Majesty the King agreed to the government's request to demote Phra Dhammajayo for evading charges filed against him.
Gen Prayut said the prosecution of the former abbot was divided into two parts: secular legal procedure and Buddhist measures under the Sangha Act.
Gen Prayut was asked whether the DSI would be replaced by other state agencies as it had failed to arrest Phra Dhammajayo. The prime minister said the media had to look at the root cause of the problem which was that authorities are unable to search the temple.
The operation is opposed by a number of the temple's disciples, he said.
Asked how long it would take to arrest the former abbot and whether more forces would be deployed to the temple, Gen Prayut replied: "I'm bored of answering those questions."

http://m.bangkokpost.com/news/crime/121 ... king-court
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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jameswang
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Re: Thai police raid Dhammakaya temple in hunt for wanted monk

Post by jameswang » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:42 am

Turmeric wrote:
gavesako wrote:Hide and Seek

http://www.khaosodenglish.com/culture/n ... kaya-says/

Thai cops have uncovered secret tunnels running underneath a space-age temple of the controversial Dhammakaya Buddhist sect, as their manhunt for an elusive elderly monk accused of massive embezzlement entered a second day.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/br ... s/30306566

:spy:
I was told the tunnel was actually a basement used for storing water.
Usually, water are stored on a higher place, not lower. Simple reason is gravity.

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